There’s a sweet smell, whether it’s donuts, freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate every Friday morning inside room 101 at David Anderson Junior/Senior High School. Friday mornings are busy for the class, as the students operate the Brew Devil Cafe.
“I’m going to do a cafe, and we’re going to deliver donuts and drinks to teachers,” said Justin Sando, seventh-grade student.
“They are learning soft job skills, which is a focus in our junior high classrooms,” said Gretchen Kalinay, Intervention Specialist, Columbiana County Educational Service Center. “They are building communication skills and rapport with other people.”
Six students from Columbiana County are part of the class and Brew Crew Team. The Brew Devil Cafe, which started last school year, is an opportunity for the students to develop life skills training. The Brew Devil Cafe teaches students about money in a real-world setting. Every Wednesday, students collect order forms and money from staff at David Anderson Jr/Sr High School for the cafe. Friday morning the students bag, organize and deliver orders to staff.
When students deliver orders to classrooms, they tell teachers good morning and thank them for their order. The Brew Crew always gets a warm reception from the staff. “It’s the Brew Crew! Thank you, thank you. Looking sharp in these outfits,” said a teacher at David Anderson Jr/Sr High School.
“It’s been a great experience, it’s been rewarding for the kids to get out and interact and get to know all the other staff,” said Kalinay.
There is typically a steady flow of orders from staff for the Brew Devil Cafe. On September 20, 2019, four dozen orders were placed. Students delivered each order with a smile.
“It’s actually very heartwarming to see how engaged they are and how excited they are to do this. It’s fabulous to see how accepting the staff has been,” said Kalinay. “ We also use the money that we earn from this to provide food for cooking lessons in the classroom, different events, our community visits, and field trips. This way we can ease the burden on the parents, and yet still give the kids great opportunities.”